Sadio's the Mane man but who'll he partner?

ON FIRE: Mane, 24, is a force to be reckoned with at tomorrow's White Hart Lane battle but the same can't be said for his team-mates.


    Aug 26, 2016

    Sadio's the Mane man but who'll he partner?


    SUCH is the impact Sadio Mane has made on Liverpool that the 24-year-old is an automatic pick to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League tomorrow while experienced international team-mates scrap it out to play alongside him.

    With the 24-year-old Senegalese on the right flank, Liverpool look a potent attacking force. But without him, they offer a much paler threat and were uninspiring in his absence in last week's 2-0 defeat at promoted Burnley.

    That result doused the optimism flowing from their opening 4-3 win at Arsenal, in which the £30 million (S$53.6 million) signing from Southampton produced an early contender for goal of the season.

    Juergen Klopp's side return to North London on Saturday after the fit-again Mane inspired their 5-0 League Cup win over Burton Albion on Tuesday.

    One particular moment of sorcery, when he jinked past a bewildered full-back to set up Divock Origi's opener, showed why he is inked into the teamsheet.

    The last Liverpool signing to make anything like that immediate impact was Luis Suarez, who hit the ground running, and scoring, in 2011.

    The Uruguayan formed a deadly partnership with Daniel Sturridge. But the English striker is no longer a guaranteed starter and Klopp must probably select one from Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Origi - all of whom scored against Burton - as Mane's partner at White Hart Lane.

    With Philippe Coutinho certain to return, Klopp is juggling formations as well as staff in search of the line-up to bury Liverpool's reputation as the league's most inconsistent performers, brilliant one week and maddening the next.


    Weekend fixtures


    Tottenham v Liverpool

    Chelsea v Burnley

    Palace v Bournemouth

    Everton v Stoke

    Leicester v Swansea

    Southampton v Sunderland

    Watford v Arsenal

    Hull v Man Utd


    West Brom v Middlesbrough

    Man City v West Ham